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Editor’s Pick: Artist Profiles

Every year, as we compile our list of potential artists that we will feature in our annual issue of Cape Cod ART, we apply a small list of criteria to initially determine whether someone is potentially a good candidate for coverage. At the core is whether the artist has some sort of connection to the region. Did they grow-up here, vacation here or live here? 

Another important consideration is whether the artwork is locally available in some sort of setting, either a gallery or in conjunction with a studio. I am a firm advocate for individuals to see the art we write about in person. As hard as we may try, reproducing someone’s creation on a one-dimensional piece of paper will never truly represent its beauty or nuance. And as much as I value the ability to do many things online, personally I find it intimidating and risky to buy art simply through phone, email or website. I suspect some of our audience shares my hesitancies.

Deidre Tao, Remembrance

So this year, as we searched, examined, and reviewed artists and their work to bring to you in these pages, I found myself returning to an artist that was referred to me by Amanda Wastrom, a friend of Cape Cod Life Publications who knows talent when she sees it. Earlier this year, Amanda was struck by a submission in a Cape Cod Museum of Art show by a Cambridge-based artist named Deidre Tao. Good call because Tao’s work was garnering a lot of buzz from the show. Immediately I yearned to hear her story and present her work in this year’s issue of Cape Cod ART. One problem, unbelievably, Tao was not represented by anyone on the Cape or Islands. Suddenly, my own criteria was being challenged.

Ultimately, I decided to break with my conviction and feature Deidre Tao, and her beautiful paintings, despite my long-held rules. I made the decision to feature her as an Editor’s Pick. I guess rules really are meant to be broken, because it was only a day or two later that another talented painter showed up on my radar. Lyn Coffey has recently moved to Cotuit and brought an incredible body of work with her. If I am willing to break the rules once, surely that would indicate I am a true renegade and two is always better than one.

Lyn Coffey, Colors of Cape Cod

I am confident you will be charmed by these two artists; by their work, as well as their stories. What I am most concerned about is the decreasing number of galleries on Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. Art and the gathering and exchange of ideas are so critical to a vibrant culture, that to imagine the region with a declining community of artists, creators and makers, is not a scenario I care to experience.

My personal wish is that these two artists suddenly experience a wave of interest from collectors as well as gallery owners, but most importantly, I hope you find them as compelling as I have. 

Allow me to introduce you to the very first Cape Cod ART Editor’s Picks, Deidre Tao and Lyn Coffey. 

– Julie Craven Wagner

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